Question about 1999 Volkswagen Passat

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2001 vw alternator on the fritz

Hi, I think I may need to replace my 2001 vw alternator, 2.8L 6 cyl. light came on "alternator workshop" came
on about 2 times then the ABS light flashed on once.
then 2 days later battery needed to be boosted to get the car started.
big expense, alternator about 400$, dealer wants 600$ it is also buried at the botom of the engine compartment,
not sure if I can get it out with my limited tools and knowledge of this car etc. therefore another 400$ in labour as
per dealer.
only 104,000km
any suggestions? appreciated, or site showing the complexity of removal of alternator.
Thanks Rob

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  • 9 more comments 
  • youcanoe May 27, 2009

    Hi, yes going by light message alternator workshop,,, not positive if alt needed but think that is the case,, maybe regulator. battery was changed 2 years ago at dealer. 400$ ORIGINAL equip. so think that it is the alt. it is raining today in TOronto so I did not have a chance to throw a multimeter on the bat. thought i would do that to see if i get about 14v at bat with car running. I think that is the correct way to test...I also intend to test the bat by multimeter for 12 v.

    note that the ABS light also came on once, breifly. Is there a fuse for this system that may be blown?.. also noticed lately that rear door locks do not respond to key remote lock,,could this be draining bat?

    Thing is that the alt is buried deep in engine compartment. don't know where I would start to remove it.

    I did change the serp belt the day before the bat died. belt looks good.

    Thanks Rob

  • youcanoe May 27, 2009

    Hi, just to clarify, i changed belt yesterday after getting the light warnings 2 days earlier, thinking it could be the belt,,, original belt 104,000 km ,, but the next day the car bat died.

    is there anything I could check to confirm that it is a bad alt?

  • youcanoe May 28, 2009

    thank you Ned, will do,,, and get back to you.

    I think the bat is a sealed unit I will double check.

    posts are very clean, little sweat on the top of bat? normal I think?

    just in case, would you know where I could find a procedure on how to remove an alt from this type of car. Nothing on the net that I could find...It must be removed from below but I am not sure? I cannot even check the wires to the alt, they are buried so deep below the engine.



    Rob

  • youcanoe May 28, 2009

    Hi Ned,

    just got a break in the rain out here, then had to get a 9v bat for my multimeter....no bat charger available...so I tested the bat cold got 11.41 volts,,, then tried to start car and luckily it started, multi read 13.27 V at start and started to drop quickly to 12.24 volts within 30 sec... I turned off the engine because I smelled something burning I think. So since I rode for about 15 minutes after the first warning a couple days ago and another 15 min the day the bat died, I guess it looks like my regulator is toast? and maybe I have damaged the bat too... what do you think?

    Rob



  • youcanoe May 28, 2009

    Ned, based on what you said earlier, I took a close look at the bat, seems to be sealed. There's an eye on it, but I can't see anything in the eye... bat# 000-915-105-AG, MFG date May 2005, checked my files and yes, I replaced it in Sept 2005. Sorry, bat is 4 yrs old. Maybe thats good news. I will remove and have the battery tested. then get back to you. Would a bad bat give an "alternator workshop" light? I hope so. Raining again,,,About the smell, I am not sure if just my sensitivity to having my face over the engine while testing.

  • youcanoe Jun 01, 2009

    Hi,

    I was away for the weekend, I am presently charging bat. bat is sealed unit so I cannot tell if low, but transparent case shows fluid to be about 2/3 full. would you know if that is OK. on charging, charger read 15% charged at start and moved quickly to 67% within 20 min. but holding at 67% for past 2 hours.

    charging at 8 amps, no sign of improvement. may have lost fluid??? no leaks observed while charging.



    wow great news about removal of alt, if needed. it will be real tight. now I have to find wires from below. I have the V6 not sure about AAA and my Passat is a 2001. is there more than 1 type of V6 for this vehicle? just picked up a 166 pc. socket set.

    rob

  • youcanoe Jun 01, 2009

    just a note, bat fluid is more like 3/4 full..VW said that was Ok.

  • youcanoe Jun 01, 2009

    Hi Ned,
    bat fully charged and fluid better than I thought almost full, I must have taken a bad read or else the
    fluid expanded which is not possible. cleaned terminals very well and installed bat. 100% charged batt
    as per charger. results on starting car

    Time Multimeter V rpm

    6:00 pm 12.70 off
    6:00 pm 12.99 8,000
    6:05 pm 12.00 8,000
    6:10 pm 11.96 8,000
    6:15 pm 11.90 8,000
    6:20 pm 11.87 15,000
    6:25 pm 11.85 8,000
    6:30 pm 11.84 15,000
    7:00 pm 12.31 off

    Is this good or bad?

    Is it possible that my bat was poorly connected, no corrosion I think but not sure what corrosion would look like, ( i would
    think corrosion to be a green and white chalky material) but when I cleaned terminals they were thinly black coated.



    No sulfur smell, when charging...or at any time. Not a delco batt, it is a Audi VW batt. 000-915-105-AG.



    I guess I will try running this way and check batt every day for awhile. If it dies then I guess its the alt? But if you have a moment please let me know what you think about the data above.



    Re other solution, I looked at the tensioner but by removing it, I do not think I would be able to get the alt out? there is a small secondary fan attached to the inside of the rad. too tight, dealer said that they have to remove front end.

    rob

  • youcanoe Jun 02, 2009

    Thank you Ned, for all your help, I will change batt tomorrow, first thing. I hope thats it. I have not tried touching the alt but it would be hard to get my hand all the way down there...will wait for darkness and try headlight test. rob Thanks again.

  • youcanoe Jun 09, 2009

    Hi All, after trying new batt same problem...turns out that it is the Alt unfortunately.
    rob

  • Ned C Cook
    Ned C Cook May 11, 2010

    Lrt's chk to see if you even need an alternator. Are you going only by the light?

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  • Volkswagen Master
  • 14,036 Answers

Turn off radio to keep from losing code.remove negative battery cable.disconnect wires from alternator .mark wires with tape to be sure they go back in the same place.loosen belt tension remove belt .if you have VR6-AAA-ENGINE remove the belt tensionsr from cylinder head .remove alternator adjustment bolt followed by pivot bolts .slowly lift alternator from bracket.smile take a deep breath dont need many tools.all you need is the basic tools. basic 3/8 socket set and open -close box end wrenches 13 up to 18 metrics.

Posted on May 29, 2009

  • Jonah Oneal Jun 02, 2009

    remove negative battery cable turn off radio first before removing neg battery cable remove the engine cover from above.and remove splash shield from below in front of engine.position the front and radiator support in the service position.remove alternator drive belt.detach the refrigerant line clamp from below the alternator.detach starter and alternator wiring harness from the bracket.remove alternator cooling duct and disconnect the wire terminals from the from the alternator.remove mounting bolts and remove the alternator from engine.then put everything back visa versa. WARNING BESURE TO MATCH THE OLD ALTERNATOR WITH NEW ONE.TO MAKE SURE BOLTS HOLE LOCATION THE SAME.SO YOU WONT HAVE INSTALLING PROBLEMS.

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  • Volkswagen Master
  • 3,433 Answers

So far, so good. After making sure the battery has water,,make sure your posts are clean. Check your battery voltage, engine off. Charge your battery with a battery charger, so when you start the vehicle your alternator doesn't doesn't jump into full carge instantly. Then start the engine and check the battery voltage again.Came up but very littke, correct? It tends to want to hover around 13.4. Here is a tip. The lower th e voltage the higher the ampereage If you get a reading with engine running of 12 v ot lower your alternator is pouring the coals to the batttery and that won't last may 15 minutes and rge alt, will be junk. Proper charging voltage is 13.6 to 24.2 volts.

Below 13.6 = too high alt output
Above 24.2 = alt outputis too low -At 15v your bat will boil (no amps but alot of volts)
So you want a reading of 13.6 to 24.2 and everyone is happy. A two yr. old battery in you location may be at fault because of freezing potential. Ck the charging voltage about every five minutes car running. If it doesn't ease up, The battery iis questionable.the battery shoiul be load tested. Right now alt output is our concern. See what you have and get back to me,K? Ned

Posted on May 28, 2009

  • 4 more comments 
  • Ned C Cook
    Ned C Cook May 28, 2009

    yes on the locks, possible battery related 13.6 to 14.2 volts nominal charging range. Not--> 24 .2 <----------

  • Ned C Cook
    Ned C Cook May 28, 2009

    Not to worry, YET! tHE READINGS YOU GOT SOUND OK., BUT WE NEED A STABLE BATTERY TO WORK WITH. !2.24 JUST MEANS ITHE REGULATOR KICKED IN THE ALTERNATOR AFTER SENSING THE DROP AFTER STARTING. CONFIRM THE SMELL OF BURNING, IF ALL IS SAFE, START THE ENGINE AGAIN AND SEE IF THE METER SHOWS GOES UP AFTER ABOUT FIVE MINUTES AT HIGH IDLE.

  • Ned C Cook
    Ned C Cook May 29, 2009

    batteries stink real bad ,like sulpher if they run dry of water and that means the plate inside have overheated. Good Idea to replace the battery. Your winters are hard on batteries and this one is old to start with.

  • Ned C Cook
    Ned C Cook Jun 01, 2009

    Is the alt charging in the 13.6 to 14.2 range? If it is ,it's a batt fault. Remember the low voltage is a good thing , means alt is charging hard and battery is demanding but not accepting the input. Again, Confirm there is no battery drain by disconnecting the batt post for the slightest spark. The batt can and does lose its water due to the charging (normal) process If the batt is low or dry, it will stink when charging like sulphur when charging. . The battery is a Delco, Correct? That green eye series of batteries are not the best and last only about 2 yrs. The old saying, " If it doesn't need to be Fed, Painted or otherwise maintained, It isn't worth having. Good Luck. Have your batt load tested once you have it fully (if possible) charged before fighting the alt. Even if you replace the alt, the batt sould be testested for integrity or it will take out the new alt. Good luck again my friend.

  • Ned C Cook
    Ned C Cook Jun 02, 2009

    Change out the battery. Oem batts aren't much above bare necessity. The voltage indicates charging, heavy charging. Does the alterntor get hot? If so, it's trying hard. Try this, Turn on your headlights and crank the engine. If they dim, the batt is bad. You are correct on the corrosion..

  • Ned C Cook
    Ned C Cook Jun 02, 2009

    U R welcome , anytime.

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